Original Author: Unknown
Created: December 13, 1861
Medium: Albumen carte-de-visite photograph

Soldier Executed for Desertion in 1861

Federal soldiers on horseback look upon the dead body of a fellow Union soldier. Private William H. Johnson of Co. B, 1st New York Cavalry Regiment was shot for desertion on December 13, 1861, near Fort Ward in Alexandria. Johnson was the first member of the Army of the Potomac to be executed for desertion. The dead man's hat sits atop the simple wooden casket.

This image is part of the Liljenquist Family Collection of Civil War Photographs at the Library of Congress.